SANAA: A bomb tore through the side of a bus carrying Yemeni air force personnel to their base in the capital Sanaa yesterday, killing at least one officer and wounding several others, state media reported.
Witnesses said that as many as six people died when the device, planted on the vehicle, exploded and blew passengers’ bodies into the street, but that higher toll could not be immediately confirmed.
Separately, Yemeni police said they foiled a plot to carry out a suicide bombing inside a US language institute in Sanaa. An institute spokesman denied the report, saying a small incident involving the arrest of a motorcyclist trying to travel on a closed road that had been blown out of proportion.
The impoverished country, situated next to the world’s top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, is battling a number of armed groups, including Al Qaeda fighters who Washington said this month could be planning attacks.
Yemen’s security personnel have been targeted by Islamist militants although most of the attacks have taken place in the largely lawless south and east of the Arabian Peninsula state.
Regarding yesterday’s bombing, the air force spokesman told Saba news agency: “This cowardly terrorist act resulted in the martyrdom of one person and injured a number of others, several of whom are in a serious condition. They have all been transferred to hospital.”
Saba named the dead man as Sergeant Mohammed Al Shaghdari.
Air force officer Ameen Saree, who was among the first to reach the scene, earlier said the blast killed at least six people and wounded 26.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Later yesterday, a Yemeni police spokesman and a counter-terrorism official said security forces had detained a suspected al Qaeda militant trying to infiltrate the Yemen-American Language Institute on a motorcycle.
The police spokesman said the man was found to be carrying an explosives belt and was detained when he tried to enter the compound posing as a student.